Consumer Generated Marketing & How it Can Help You

The process of coming up with an idea for a new marketing campaign can be incredibly tiresome for a lot of entrepreneurs. Having to select what medium to use and what type of content to create that will resonate with the customer base can consume a lot of a company’s time and funds. Consequently, it’s no wonder that both big and small businesses are switching to consumer generating marketing, preferring to spend their saved resources on improving the products and services they offer.

The two most significant advantages of CGM are obvious right away. Firstly, it allows having an endless stream of company-related content on the Web, and secondly, it doesn’t require substantial expenses on the enterprises’ part. With that being the case, this method represents the Holy Grail of marketing for a lot of companies. But before we dive any deeper into how this approach can be used, let’s first come up with a more precise definition of this term.

Definition of Consumer Generated Marketing

In its essence, consumer generated marketing can be described as the process of allowing an organization’s clients to actively participate in its advertising activities by granting them a chance to create and share product-related promotional content either on a company’s website or their own social media pages.

This marketing strategy usually employs such methods as:

  • videos of customers using a product or service;
  • product reviews;
  • comments posted on thematically appropriate forums;
  • photo sharing or tagging on social media websites;
  • competitions organized by an enterprise.

The effectiveness of these methods is supported by several studies stating that a typical person is more likely to view and trust consumer-created content than one produced by a professional advertising company. The reason behind this tendency is that the former is more relatable to the person’s own needs and interests.

The most prominent downside of running CGM campaigns is that entrepreneurs can’t fully control content of what type and quality is being created and shared by the customers. As a result, the company’s image can be damaged due to bad publicity. However, an enterprises’ marketing department has the power to control the general direction of a consumer generated marketing activity by joining conversations and posts related to the campaign.

Guidelines & Tips

Even though devising a CGM strategy is a rather simple process, there are several recommendations an entrepreneur has to follow:

  • Give customers straightforward goals and objectives.
  • Establish transparent participation rules.
  • Ensure that the level of rewards is appropriate to the demanded content quality.
  • Maintain a fun and relaxing atmosphere around CGM activities.
  • Winners and runner-ups of consumer content competitions should become business representatives, as they can be featured at events and presentations.

Adherence to this set of tips allows a business to run campaigns that both increase its profitability and help the company create a positive image on the Web.

5 Types of Consumer Generated Marketing Campaigns

Before a company can launch a specific CGM promotional activity, it first has to choose between the five common campaign types inherent to this approach:

  • Demonstrate your creative talent

This popular tactic relies on incentivizing customers to post videos or pictures that are later judged based on their creativity and\or aesthetical beauty.

  • Help us reinvent our brand

This type invites consumers to come up with a new idea either for the enterprises’ logo, packaging design, tagline, or any other distinguishing feature.

  • What is the job you’ve always wanted?

This type of campaign takes advantage of the human’s hidden desire to change, with this specific initiative encouraging a client to imagine themselves doing a job related to the company’s core activities.

  • Tell the world your story

This universal tactic invites clients to share a life-story that is either related to the company’s product or is dedicated to a pre-determined theme in exchange for a prize.

  • Have a grant idea? Share it!

This promotional activity benefits both the society and the company that organizes such a campaign, as it allows consumers to have their community-oriented ideas funded.

All listed campaign types have their own merits, and, usually, enterprises which employ CGM change the tactic they’re using to keep the customers engaged.

Brilliant Example of User Generated Content Marketing in Apple Inc.

Among hundreds of successful CGM examples that can be found on the internet, the one that gathers the most attention is Apple’s long-lasting #ShotOnIphone campaign. This initiative was created as a response to the constantly voiced complaints made by iPhone users that weren’t satisfied with the quality of the pictures taken with their devices.

To prevent severely damaging the company’s reputation and revenue streams, Apple’s marketing department decided to use CGM and show real-life photos taken by regular users with their iPhones that have blown the Internet away with their quality. Additionally, this campaign allowed Apple to turn its customers into a welcoming community and achieve a cult status among its loyal clients.

In conclusion, consumer generated marketing is proving to be one of the most reliable methods for winning over new clients in the social media era of the Internet. The key to a profitable CGM campaign is offering a company’s customers an exciting idea, supporting their content along the way, and rewarding them for their contributions and creativity.